The 24 Most Interesting Facts from the Harvard Senior Survey

Harvard's seal sits atop a gate to the athletic fields at Harvard University in Cambridge. BRIAN SNYDER/ REUTERS

Want to know who Harvard seniors voted for in 2012, or what percentage of the class are still virgins? You’re in luck.

The results of Harvard University’s 2014 Senior Survey were released, and some of the facts may surprise you.

Nearly half of the class (758 students) responded to the senior survey this May.

“Topics ranged from post-graduation plans to issues that dominated campus and national conversation over the past four years. The secure survey ensured only one response per senior, and The Crimson did not adjust the data for any possible self-selection bias,’’ said the university’s newspaper, The Crimson, which published the data.


The survey was administered via email, and garnered some interesting results:

1. “More than a third of non-white or multiracial seniors say they have felt marginalized because of their race during their time at Harvard.’’

About 60 percent of black/African-American seniors have felt marginalized because of their race, over 40 percent of Latino or Hispanic-Americans, and over 40 percent of East-Asian or Asian-Americans.

2. “Two-fifths of the class has sought mental health support.’’

42 percent to be exact. Specifically, 37 percent of heterosexual seniors sought mental health counseling, and 67 percent of homosexual or LGBTQ students.

3. “They overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage.’’

About 90 percent of seniors surveyed support same sex marriage. 59 percent of those who identified as conservative or deeply conservative support same-sex marriage.


4. “They are deeply skeptical about the efficacy of an honor code.’’

The results showed 12 percent feel an honor code would have changed their approach to academic integrity at Harvard.

5. “[They are] divided on the question of whether Harvard should divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies.’’

About 44 percent think Harvard should divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies.

6. “64 percent will live in Massachusetts, New York, California, or Washington D.C. after graduation.’’

7. “Working men were more than twice as likely than working women to report that they would be going into finance.’’

8. “Consulting attracted a nearly equal percentage of working men and women.’’


This is the only field in the survey that did not draw disproportionate numbers of male and female graduates.

9. “19 percent of employed men said they will make a starting salary of $90,000 or more, compared to 4 percent of employed women.’’

10. “A plurality of women entering the technology or engineering sectors reported that they will make between $50,000 and $69,999, while their male counterparts said they will make between $90,000 and $109,999.’’

11. “None of the women going into finance said they would earn $90,000 or more, compared to 29 percent of men in finance.’’

12. 38 percent are agnostic or atheist.

13. 17 percent of seniors admitted to cheating during their time at Harvard.


About 5 percent of students have gone before the ad board for a disciplinary issue at Harvard.

14. “Athletes are 2 times more likely to admit to cheating in academics’’ than non-athletes.

15. 21 percent are virgins.

The survey also reported that 12 percent of participating students have had ten or more sexual partners.

16. 81 percent of male club/fraternity members drink more than twice a week.

17. 60 percent of female club/sorority members drink more than twice a week.

18. The median number of sexual partners during the participants’ time at Harvard was two.

The median number of dating partners was one.

19. 12 percent of females were sexually assaulted; 2 percent of males were sexually assulted.


About 16 percent of assault victims reported attacks.

20. “80 percent of seniors who voted in 2012 cast their ballot for Obama.’’

21. “39 percent of seniors going into government or politics ten years from now have used marijuana.’’

22. “88 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with their living arrangements.

23. “70 percent of seniors said they will pursue employment, 18 percent will attend graduate school, 4 percent will travel, and the remaining 8 percent do not have definite plans.’’

24. Seniors are nearly unanimous in the view that, if given the chance, they would choose Harvard again.’’

92 percent said they would choose the school all over again.

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